CT-Designs

Monday, July 21, 2014

Decorative Pomander Tutorial (Cut Card Stock)


I did a pomander D.I.Y. tutorial for Cut Card stock as a design team member, check it out!

I'll be back soon with more projects, tips and eye candy for you guys real soon.
Have productive weeks,
--ct


Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July - 2014!

Its holiday time! Well needed rest coming for those that can get it. I'll be working through the holiday because we've got so many orders to process. CONGRATULATIONS to all the couples tying the knot this weekend and please enjoy some of my favorite 4th of July party invites found around the web!

Adorable chalkboard themed invite from PartyMonkey on Etsy
Adorable, simple, clean invite found at 4thofJulyimages.com

How cute is this one from Mixbook.com

Have great, safe weekends and we'll be back on Monday!
--ct

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wedding Seating Chart F.A.Q.


I've started to do over-sized electronic signage this wedding season! I'm usually hand lettering signage, so this is a little new for me!

Seating charts are their own animal so I thought I'd do a F.A.Q. on it in case you are wrestling with one of these guys right now...

1. What layout options are available?
You can either decide to have your list be alphabetized by last name or you can have your table numbers/titles and then the guests listed underneath.

2. Should the guest names be alphabetized?
I think even in the case where the guest's names are going underneath table name/number "umbrellas" you should still seek to alphabetize them just to help make it easier for quick recognition.

3. What size should I select?
Depending on your guest count, I'd recommend beginning at 18" x 24" for smaller guest counts, and up to 36" x 24" for larger counts. 30" x 40" for super large counts... (250+)

4. What are the different display options?
If you decide to get it mounted to foam core (lightweight, affordable stock that comes in different thicknesses), you can decide to sit it in an easel. If you'd like a more elegant look, you can have it printed and inserted into an elegant oversized frame from Michael's or Hobby Lobby.

From vancitybride.com

From Weddingbee.com

5. Do I need a design program to lay this out?
Illustrator and other design programs work BEST, however depending on the number of design elements you want to use, you may be able to get away with MS Word. Ask the printer up front if they can accept files from these simpler programs though. Sometimes they are incompatible with their software and you don't want to waste all that time.

6. Can I secure a printable?
Etsy has great printables. I'm just starting to post some, but definitely do some searches. Beautiful, elegant layouts.


Thanks for making us a part of your day and happy seating!
--ct

Monday, June 30, 2014

6 Fresh Tips for Hand Lettering


Hi all... I've been writing like a crazed woman for some time now. Wanted to take a break and catch up on some much needed blogging. Blogging is like working out. You love it when you do it, and you feel so much better, but once you miss a couple of visits to the gym, you can find yourself at home for a full month.

Today I want to talk about hand lettering and some tips I'd like to share. These are for everyone, whether you are dabbling in hand lettering, been writing for a while, and/or thinking of starting up your own studio. I feel like I learned (am learning) a lot this season in particular so here goes:

1. Mix a lot of ink for your lettering projects. 
I made the mistake this year of mixing a modest amount of gold metallic ink for a project and ran thin towards the end of the job. I was forced to try to "stretch" the ink by adding water and more ink, but it just never quite looks the same (especially if you are pressed for time). The client was unhappy with the few that were "off" and I of course offered to re-do them at my cost. The lesson learner here though is to just mix a ton of ink so you don't have to worry about inconsistencies!

These interlocking jars from Dick Blick's come in different sizes and are great for ink mixing. They absolutely dwarf the smaller containers I used to use for this task. Be bold here. 


2. Experiment with different mediums.
I am always looking for better inks. Waterproof vs. India vs. Black Magic vs. Speedball, etc. I've recently taken my search into paint as well. Especially for silver and gold. I recently found a very fluid acrylic silver and gold made by Utrecht that works fabulously for lettering.

Some of these other mediums may clog your pen or cause other issues so you need to spend time experimenting, but you can definitely get lucky. I like gouache as well. It lasts a little longer on the pen nib than ink sometimes. Your experience will vary depending on your paper's surface.





3. Do a little each day.
Do yourself a favor and peck at your orders or your D.I.Y. project. Lettering can be awfully time-consuming and you will do well to aim for 10-15 envelopes a day vs. attempting to execute in a few sittings. Kind of an overwhelming feeling for sure.



4. Use an egg timer.
Just to be more efficient, use a timer so that you know exactly how long its taking you to letter.



5. Rubber band stacks as they dry (this will be instrumental in ordering/alphabetizing/proofing later).
I like to re-purpose file folder holders for my envelopes. Very easy to just pop the flaps up vertically and allow them to dry to avoid smudges. I have found though that if you take the time to order the envelopes as you go, and rubber band stacks, your job as proof-reader is SO much easier later. The last thing I want to do after I finish the job is grab randomly ordered stacks of envelopes or place cards in order to put them in order according to the client's list. This process alone can take up to an hour and needlessly adds to your production time. Trust me, you'll thank yourself later for taking the time to order your stacks.



6. Work in public whenever you can.
I like to take my show on the road whenever possible. People usually leave you alone (or will ask for my business card, be sure to bring plenty with you). Moving around is easier than you would think. You can take your pen nibs and ink in a plastic storage container (eliminating fears about spilling) and your envelopes/place cards, etc. in a larger plastic bin. Heck, I even take my file folder holders.

There are less distractions for me personally when I work publicly and you'll find yourself finished with your project in no time. Make sure the location you choose is fairly quiet (library is perfect), and if you like to nibble on snacks while you work, your local café is another great spot.

Cheap storage containers from The Container Store


Check out a past post that I did called Wedding Calligraphy Secrets for even more tips. Thanks for stopping by today and get out there and letter away!
--ct


Friday, June 27, 2014

What Wedding Fonts Should You Buy This Season?


Happy Friday! June always marks the time when the wedding season heats up. Summer begins, orders are streaming in. Concepts are due yesterday. You always want to make sure that you are utilizing design elements and fonts that are on trend, not dated and for lack of better terminology... well, hot.

That brings us to back to where all roads lead to... Fonts. What fonts are hot this year? Which ones are sleepers? What's been out for a while that you may not have heard about? There are a few that have admittedly escaped my attention for whatever the reason...

These are available on Veer.com | CreativeMarket.com | MyFont.com

SICK of using Trajan Pro, Copperplate and Futura for your block font? Check out some of these nice alternatives...
Available on MyFonts.com 


Have great weekends and I'll be back on Monday...
--ct




Wednesday, June 25, 2014

CS Brides Fall/Winter Issue On Shelves

Check out the Digital Edition 

**NEW** Check out the "Venue Masters" section on pp. 215 
(Advice from elite event experts from premier hotel and event locations in Chicago)

Monday, June 23, 2014

3rd Southport Paper Source Intro to Calligraphy Class

I've got ONE more class scheduled at the Southport Paper Source location before the July class out in Oak Brook. It's this Saturday, June 28th from Noon to 3PM!

Call the store to sign up, we are going to have a GREAT time... --ct




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